Logion 3: "If those who guide you say: Look, the Kingdom is in the sky ..."


The Paraclete Shri Mataji (Mar 21, 1923 - Feb 23, 2011)
Mar 21, 1923 a€" Feb 23, 2011
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was
Christian by birth, Hindu by
marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
"The Paraclete represents direct,
intimate divine intervention,
supporting and teaching
believers and challenging the
world, as Jesus did." (D. Stevick
Jesus and His Own, 2011, 290)
"You have to take a stand in your family, in your surroundings, with your friends, and you have to tell them, 'You better all get realized.' The reason for that is that the Christ who crucified Himself is going to come back with His Eleven Forces of Destruction.

And when He starts He is not going to ask you to take any Realization. No one is going to be bothered whether you are going to hell. He will just sort out.

But those who have got Realization will enter into the Kingdom of God. You have to enter into the Kingdom of God here, as I say, in the Seventh Chakra."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
The New Age Has Started
Houston, USA—Oct. 6, 1981



Jean-Yves Leloup, The Gospel of Thomas
LOGION 3

Yeshua said:
If those who guide you say: Look,
the Kingdom is in the sky,
then the birds are closer than you.
If they say: Look,
it is in the sea,
then the fish already know it.
The Kingdom is inside you,
and it is outside you.
When you know yourself, then you will be known,
and you will know that you are the child of the Living Father;
but if you do not know yourself,
you will live in vain
and you will be vanity.

(CF. MATT 24:26-27; MARK 13:5-7; LUKE 17:21; DEUT 30:11-14; ROM 10:6-8)


This logion tells us that the Kingdom is the presence of the Spirit of God within us. It is not to be sought exclusively in the outer, and it is not to be sought exclusively in the inner. It invites us to move out of the dualism that forms the climate of our ordinary consciousness.

This climate is one of oppositions, antagonisms, and exclusions. For example, we know the harm that is created by phrases such as "no salvation outside the Church." When the term church is understood in merely an institutional sense, then there are those inside it, and those outside it—which means that most of humanity is excluded from salvation...

We begin to see the wisdom of the nondualist language in the Gospel of Thomas. If it had simply said, "The Kingdom is within you," it would give one-sided privilege to inner experience and meditations. This would encourage us to flee the world, to disregard what is going on around us. Happiness would be only spiritual and we would be separate from our carnal half. The world, others, and matter itself would be reduced to temptations and threats prowling around our inner being.

If the gospel had said, "The Kingdom is outside you," then we would be encouraged to transform the world and convert others at all costs ...

This gospel is a cure for our schizophrenia of outside vs. inside, for it tells us that the Kingdom includes both. There is no opposition, because outer and inner realities come together in the Kingdom. This can transform our way of seeing things ...

Gnostics are whole human beings who do not exclude any part of themselves. True self-knowledge cannot be limited to knowledge of the soul, nor to knowledge of the "little me," the one wrapped up in a bag of skin. Self-knowledge is consciousness of all the dimensions of our being.

In this consciousness, as the second part of this logion tells us, we discover that we are also known. In our most intimate core, in the very movement of integration of all that we are, we discover the Other who is our ground. Again, we discover the metaphysical outer in the ultimate depths of the inner.

Thus, to know ourselves is to discover that we are known. It is to discover that in every act of true knowledge there is participation by an Intelligence that communicates through us and that offers us participation in its Light.

Jean-Yves Leloup, The Gospel of Thomas
Inner Traditions (2005) pp. 67-70




Marvin Meyer, The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus
Logion 3: "If we believe in it, we shall live in it for ever."

3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the kingdom is in heaven,' then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you. "When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty, and you are poverty."

"If your leaders say to you ...": This saying parodies announcements that the kingdom is in heaven above or in the underworld...
"In the sea": Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654.13 provides the variant reading "under the earth."
"The kingdom is inside you and it is outside you": Compare Luke 17:20- 21: Gospel of Thomas saying 113:4. Similar expressions are known in the Manichaean Psalm Book, particularly 160, 20-21: "Heaven's kingdom, look, it is inside us, look, it is outside us. If we believe in it, we shall live in it for ever."
"know yourselves": The well-known imperative "Know yourself" was among the Greek inscriptions at the oracular center dedicated to Apollo at Delphi. It is discussed in Plutarch's essay On the E at Delphi and Plato's dialogue Alcibiades I. In Book of Thomas 138, 7-21, Thomas is described as "The one who knows oneself." In early Christian literature, the formulation "know ... be known" is attested in Galatians 4:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:1-3; 13:12; the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Truth 19,32-33 ("They knew, they were known").

The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus
Marvin Meyer, HarperOne; 2nd edition (October 9, 1992) pp. 79-80


(Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654.9-21)

'Jesus says," [If] your leaders [say to you, 'Look], the kingdom is in heaven,' the birds of [heaven will precede you. If they say] that it is under the earth, the fish of the sea [will enter, and will precede] you. And [God's kingdom] is inside you [and outside (you). 'Whoever] knows [oneself] will find this. [And when you] know yourselves, [you will understand that] you are [children] of the [living] father. [But if] you do [not] know yourselves, [you are] in [poverty], and you are [poverty]."

The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus
Marvin Meyer, HarperOne; 2nd edition (October 9, 1992) pp. 66-67




Logion 3: "This is the good news! Malkut, the kingdom, is within you and all around you"

Tau Malachi, The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas
Verse 3

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


Malkut, the kingdom of heaven, is within you and all around you-yet, if you do not know that the kingdom is within you, then you will not see the kingdom outside of you. Such is the nature of reality, this magical display of consciousness. The inside and the outside are not separate but are intimately connected. The reality of your experience is the magical display of your own consciousness. A change in consciousness brings about a corresponding change in the reality you encounter. A change in the reality you encounter is an expression of a change in consciousness.

In the world and waking consciousness there are many cocreators of the magical display. There is the individual and the collective creation of this magical display-and the individual, the collective, and the universal consciousness are completely interconnected and interdependent. You alone are not the creator of the reality you experience. Every living being is a unique individual expression of the Life-power, the Holy One of Being, and a co-creator with God of the reality you experience. Nevertheless, when there is a transformation in your own consciousness, there is a proportional and corresponding transformation in the world, in the reality of your experience. In transforming yourself, you transform the world in which you exist. Do you want to change the world? You are the world and the world is you. If you want to change the world, make a change in your own consciousness.

Whether heaven or hell or a world of admixture, it is all a state of mind, a condition of consciousness-being. The kingdom of heaven is not a place, but a spaciousness in consciousness, just as hell is a severe confinement and limitation upon consciousness. There are worlds within worlds and worlds beyond, heavens and hells and spaces in between. All are an expression of consciousness-being, which is the radiant nature of consciousness, and all exist within consciousness.

There are higher, holier worlds than this one. No one can know how many there are. Nor can anyone be certain that any given world or level of consciousness is the same for different persons. Heaven could well be a dread and terrible thing for the wicked person, and for a saint, "hell" could be the most intense joy. What is known is that, most of the time, people are too busy here in this world to notice what is transpiring within it and beyond it, too lost in distraction to know themselves and so realize the wealth of higher and holier worlds that occupy the same space. Most ordinary individuals do not know the creative power that is in them and do not know that they are the world and the world is them. In ignorance, they remain bound to lesser gods and shadow lands, and do not know the world of Supernal Light within and all around them.

So many souls are asleep and dreaming strange and fitful dreams. They are asleep and do not know that they are dreaming and so cannot awaken in the dream to transform it. To the awakened ones, the holy ones, it is a sad and sorry sight. It is a vision of sorrow to behold the nightmares created by self-grasping, desire, and fear, and all of the suffering that naturally follows. The awakened ones know the world of Supernal Light here and now, yet they also know how very real the suffering is of those who remain ignorant and asleep. It is not an issue of personal salvation. No one is perfectly free until everyone is free. "The first shall be last and the last shall be first" (Mark 10:31). Until the last "Wicked" person repents and seeks righteousness, the great transformation of the Second Coming shall not be complete.

The force that binds is the force that will set everyone free. It is the same consciousness-force that manifests as the adversary or the Messiah, as heaven or hell. Enlightenment or unenlightenment are expressions of the very same consciousness-force, the one Life-power.

There is one Divine mind, but two paths. This world stands on the threshold in between. It could go either way at any moment-toward heaven or toward hell-yet salvation is always at hand, the Second Coming ever near, as near as your breath and the beat of your heart, as close as the very nature of your consciousness-being!

Now listen and hear the Word of the Lord. You are free to choose! It could be heaven or it could be hell, but everyone must choose. within you are the powers of salvation and damnation, the Light and the Darkness. When you are at last transparent, there will only be the Light and Life. That is the certainty of salvation in our Lord. Yet the suffering of damnation is all too real until salvation is attained. You must choose each moment. You must know the creative power that is in you and live in remembrance of the Spirit and Truth.

What is to be attained? Knowing and experiencing yourself as part of the Sacred Unity that is God, here and now. You have always been part of that Sacred Unity, are and always will be part of that Sacred Unity, the Holy One of Being. Never have you been separate from the Holy One. Union with God is not really an attainment; it is a present reality and truth. You need only remember the Spirit and Truth. You need only awaken and live with this awareness. It is not something you lack, but who and what you most truly are, the son or daughter of the Living God-the child of the Light, the Light of awareness itself. Who are lost that they should be found? I tell you, none are lost that they should be found. The one who is lost has never existed, and the one to be found was never born. You are what you are seeking, the bornless Spirit.

This is the good news! Malkut, the kingdom, is within you and all around you. Eternal life is the Truth of your inmost being. Death has never existed. You are free!

Tau Malachi, The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas
Llewellyn Publications (June 8, 2004) pp. 8-10




His Universe within

"The Upanishads represent the culmination of a process which comes to regard the individual self as having great inner depths, and, indeed, as containing the universe within. The truth (satya) is the absolute (brahman) which is also the self (atman)."- Gavin D. Flood


"The Gospel of Thomas also suggests that Jesus is aware of, and criticizing the views of the Kingdom of God as a time or a place that appear in the other gospels. Here Jesus says," If those who lead you say to you, "look, the Kingdom is in the sky," then the birds will get there first. If they say "It's in the ocean," then the fish will get there first. But the Kingdom of God is within you and outside of you. Once you come to know yourselves, you will become known. And you will know that it is you who are the children of the living father."

Elaine H. Pagels, PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE, 1998




Visions Of The Universe: Kazuaki Iwasaki

On August 20, 1995, at the home of Sahaja Yogi, Dattatreya, in Maine, USA, Kash was shown the book Visions of the Universe containing vivid and strikingly realistic paintings of the planets in the universe by Japanese master painter, Kazuaki Iwasaki. (The text is by Isaac Asimov and preface by Carl Sagan.) He was told to look at each page and point out the celestial bodies he had seen in his mystic journeys as he traveled across the universe with Shri Mataji, and reminded to be sure that they matched.

He identified the following planets as he traveled with Shri Visva-Dharini Devi in the universe within the Sahasrara within himself:

Earth - Visions of the Universe,
p.17 by Kazuaki Iwasaki.
(click to enlarge)

The Earth looks as that on page 17. He is sure as he had seen it from outer space while descending upon it with the Great Adi Shakti on 1994-04-30.

Earth is the third planet in distance outward from the Sun. It is the only planetary body in the solar system that has conditions suitable for life, at least as known to modern science. Gravitational forces have molded the earth, like all celestial bodies, into a spherical shape. However, the earth is not an exact sphere, being slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. The earth is surrounded by an envelope of gases called the atmosphere, of which the greater part is nitrogen and oxygen. (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia)...

http://adishakti.org/his_universe_within.htm




The Spiritual Temple of Tomorrow

"Inner human potentials of intuition and creativity have just begun to be rediscovered in all of these areas through the new sciences of consciousness and healing. Earlier in this century, two great prophets of modern times, East and West — one the French Jesuit anthropologist and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardinand and the other the Hindu sage Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry, India — proclaimed that the next step in human evolution would be "A psychic-spiritual mutation" to a higher consciousness.

The mythic foundations of the old world order — and its rationalistic, reductionalistic, materialistic, Newtonian presuppositions which have dehumanized Western civilization and created a stripped, mechanistic model of the human being and of human societies — are no longer credible to those who know enough. But it is also obvious that not everyone in positions of power in church, state, or academia seems to understand yet the new models of future science and the new sciences of consciousness and healing, or their significance for approaching forms of planetary existence that will profoundly change and affect our daily lives in the twenty-first century...

In the social sciences of the near future, positive forms of primary human spiritual and psychic experiences will be recognized as the sources of classic myths and religious doctrines. Scholars will understand more about the transformative powers of the psyche and spirit; immortality; life after life; communication with dead saints, sages, and ancestors; extraordinary healings; and belief in "other" or "higher worlds" and a multidimensional universe. These experiences will be acknowledged one day in secular societies — not as mere superstitions from a prescientific age — but rather as universal factors in the formation of tremendously empowering, symbolically expressed creeds found in all cultures, ancient and modern. We will then perhaps at last be able to see our way past the present radical opposition between science and spirituality. We might also begin to lessen the misunderstandings between conflicting faiths that have been so destructive in human affairs over the past several centuries and millennia.

Are there really universal human values waiting to be discovered within the world's religions and cultures, across all sectarian boundaries? Yes! But these cannot be discovered by a rationalistic, left-brained academic analysis alone. The consciousness of scholars themselves will have to change and their perspectives expand to the consideration of alternative new paradigms for the convergence of science and spirituality in the global village. And more important even than this, we must begin to pay attention to the qualities of personal transformation in the creation of a new humanity.

The fruits of the spirit — under whatever terminology — have always been recognizable and are treasured by mystics who are frequently a force for positive social reform in most of the world's great religions and cultures, East and West. These universally recognized qualities of authentic spiritual life in all of the great religious traditions of the world include unselfish love, the readiness to forgive injuries, peace, justice, compassion, humility, and the joyous service of a global humanity, of all sentient life, and of the planet itself. And it is classical mystical experience — in many of its varied religious and secular forms — that has in fact inspired and nurtured the perennial heroic and prophetic quest for peace, justice, and a better world.".. on Earth, as it is in Heaven." "

John Rossner, The Spiritual Temple of Tomorrow

(John Rossner, Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Litt., is professor of religion at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is president of The International Institute of Integral Human Sciences and abbot-general of The Order of the Transfiguration. Source: Georg and Trisha Lamb Feuerstein, Voices on the Threshold of Tomorrow, The Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Books, 1993, p. 6-8.)




Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Jesus
Logion 3: "The idea that self-knowledge is a road to salvation is perhaps as old as philosophy itself."

3a Jesus said: If your leaders say to you "Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!" then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you. [4]

3b When you understand yourselves you will be understood. And you will realize that you are Sons of the living Father. If you do not know yourselves, then you exist in poverty and you are that poverty. [5]

[4] Having introduced the principle that the Kingdom is to be sought and found, the Gospel of Thomas parodies two ideas attributed to rival leaders. The Kingdom is not to be found across the sea, and it is not up in the sky. Even today, many people will point to the sky if asked where heaven is to be found. But this saying makes fun of such an idea. The Kingdom is within you, as Luke's Gospel also says (17:20-21). And yet it is also outside. Thomas is a spiritual Gospel, yet it points out to the world of nature and to the realm of all creation instead of pointing back only toward the reader.

[5] The idea that self-knowledge is a road to salvation is perhaps as old as philosophy itself. Its most famous occurrence is the inscription "Know Thyself" at the oracle at Delphi. Thomas's statement "The Kingdom is within you and outside of you" places that Gospel in the context of ancient philosophical speculation and affirms the goodness of both human nature and of the nature of the outside world in an unambiguous fashion. Being Sons of the Father is to be like Jesus himself, a status one does not attain anew but that one realizes one has always had. Accordingly, self-discovery is the key to finding the potential wealth buried in people and in the world.

Stevan Davies & Andrew Harvey, Gospel of Thomas Annotated and Explained
Reviews, Skylights Path (2006) pp. 4-5




Logion 3: "In contrast to such misguided leadership, Jesus directs the readers to understand their own empowerment."

Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Jesus
Saying 3 Jesus said," If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the imperial rule 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 imperial rule is inside you and outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

Scholars have read this saying in a number of ways, as a "popular Jewish motif of seeking after wisdom in the furthest reaches of the universe" (Patterson 1993: 72), or as a midrash on Deuteronomy 30:10- 15 which establishes a connection between the commandments, wisdom, and the interior status of the reign of God (Glasson 1976-77: 151-52 and Davies 1983: 41-46). All of these interpretations overlook the subject of the saying: "those who lead you." This saying problematizes leadership. Readers experience for the first time the irony and sarcasm possible in these collections of sayings. The narrative strategy has already invested the reader with a kind of full authority to find the community's interpretation of the sayings, a process hat has guaranteed immortality. When we first hear about "leaders," they are giving bad information, directing the seekers' attention to the sky or under the earth. To follow such leaders results in getting lost. In contrast to such misguided leadership, Jesus directs the readers to understand their own empowerment: the imperial rule of God is found both within and without the seeker. True leadership directs the seeker inward to a new understanding of the self, and outward to a new understanding of the world in which God's imperial rule is manifested. The seeker guides the self into knowledge, requiring no external guidance other than the saying of Jesus that directs the seekers to themselves.

The important point is not only that there is a new understanding of an empowered self, but also that God's imperial rule must be understood anew. The location of God's imperial rule is not in the heavens, nor is it under the earth (other creatures would experience the rule of God first, if this were the case), but God's imperial rule is within and without the person. The interior location of the imperial rule, as Patterson (1993:71-72) argues, finds specific thematic parallels with Luke 17.20-21 ("for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you") and perhaps with Matthew's "Warning against those who would locate the kingdom in a specific place" (Matthew 24.26). The Kingdom of God in this saying, however, remains interior in that it emerges from self-knowledge and exterior in that it depends upon a self-awareness that leads to a new understanding of the mundane world.

This relocation of the imperial rule of God probably represents one side of an ongoing conversation among early Christian people about authority and power: some probably expected an apocalyptic rule of God inaugurated from the heavens (as Paul did in 1 Thessalonians), others may have experienced the church community itself as the inauguration of the reign of God (as Matthew did in his gospel), still others at once interiorized the rule of God and, therefore, reinterpreted its external significance (as in this saying).

This new awareness and understanding of the self develops from the kind of seeking mentioned in the previous saying. The readers, and the seekers, will find this understanding of the rule of God as they come to know themselves. Self-knowledge reveals the connection to the Father, not as an external adoption by a distant heavenly Father, but as "children of the living Father," a Father who is present and vital. The opposite of this self-knowledge is poverty: true wealth does not consist in anything but knowing self, poverty both as a state of being and as a condition of life follows from the refusal to seek.

All of these issues are intimately connected. The true self, the empowering strategy both of the narrator and of Jesus' sayings, the alternative understanding of the world, the redefinition of poverty both as ontological and social, the rejection of hierarchical leadership—all these conspire to create alternative understandings of self, relationships, and world. These alternatives work ascetically; they are a part of a systematic means of redefining and reorienting the seeker to the world (see Valantasis 1995b). They open the possibility of transformation and renewal through the interpretative practices outlined in the sayings.

Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Thomas
Routledge; 1 edition (June 27, 1997) pp. 58-9


P. Oxy 654.27-31 [Coptic Saying 3]

Jesus says," [If] your leaders [say to you, 'Look,] the imperial rule is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky [will precede you. 2If they say] that it is under the earth, then the fish of the sea [will precede] you. 3And [the imperial rule] is inside you [and outside . 4You who] know [yourselves] will find this. [And when you] know yourselves, [you will understand that] you are [children] of the [living] Father. 5[But if] you do [not] know yourselves, [you live] in [poverty], and you are [poverty]."

The community these sayings posit experiences itself as fully empowered: its members do not need guidance. In fact, as this saying indicates, leaders often point seekers in the wrong direction, leading them to the heavens or the seas where nothing significant happens, and where other creatures more logically would function. So this saying encourages the seekers to ignore outside leadership and follow themselves into a kind of self-knowledge that reveals their adoption

For these seekers, self-direction marks true guidance: that which most leaders find only in objectification and exteriorization, the true seeker finds both within the self and outside the self. The interiority of the discovery of the rule of God correlates (and presumably precedes) any exterior experience of it. The desired reign of God cannot be located only outwardly (in the sky or under the earth), but also inwardly. Nothing circumscribes the rule of God or objectifies it: it is both within and without the person.

The statement about the interiority and exteriority of the rule of God leads to the development of a contrast based upon self-knowledge. The interior and exterior reality of the rule will be found by those who know themselves. The finding now becomes identified with self-knowledge, and that self-knowledge results in the self-understanding of the seeker as "A child of the living Father." The adoption by God emerges from a process of discovery of the self and its relationship with the rule of God. This beneficent situation contrasts markedly with its alternative. For those who do not know themselves, who have not discovered their true selves in relationship to the rule of God, they "live in poverty," and in fact become that poverty. The process of self-discovery, that is, does not remain neutral so that one gains an increment of knowledge or understanding which adorns an otherwise rich life. Rather, the knowledge itself becomes the wealth and its lack becomes poverty. The personal stakes for the seeker revolve about either a wealth or a poverty, becoming rich or poor. The starkly drawn contrast again provides a window into the emotional and psychological dynamic of those who read and interpret these sayings.

Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Thomas
Routledge; 1 edition (June 27, 1997) pp. 33




Logion 3: "The community these sayings posit experiences itself as fully empowered: its members do not need guidance."

P. Oxy 654.9-21 [Coptic Saying 3]

Jesus says," [If] your leaders [say to you, 'Look,] the imperial rule is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky [will precede you. If they say] that it is under the sea, then the fish of the sea [will precede] you. And [the imperial rule] is inside you [and outside . You who] know [yourselves] will find this. [And when you] know yourselves, [you will understand that] you are [children] of the [living] Father. [But if] you do [not] know yourselves [you live] in [poverty], and you are [poverty].

The community these sayings posit experiences itself as fully empowered: its members do not need guidance. In fact, as this saying indicates, leaders often point seekers in the wrong direction, leading them to the heavens or the seas where nothing significant happens, and where other creatures more logically would function. So this saying encourages the seekers to ignore outside leadership and follow themselves into a kind of self-knowledge that reveals their adoption by God. For these seekers, self-direction marks true guidance: that which most leaders find only in objectification and exteriorization, the true seeker finds both within the self and outside the self. The interiority of the discovery of the rule of God correlates (and presumably precedes) and exterior experience of it. The desired reign of God cannot be located only outwardly (in the sky or under the earth), but also inwardly. Nothing circumscribes the rule of God or objectifies it: it is both within and without the person.

The statement about the interiority and exteriority of the rule of God leads to the development of a contrast based upon self-knowledge. The interior and exterior reality of the rule will be found by those who know themselves. The finding now becomes identified with self- knowledge, and that self-knowledge results in the self-understanding of the seeker as "A child of the living Father." The adoption by God emerges from a process of discovery of the self and its relationship with the rule of God. This beneficent situation contrasts markedly with its alternative. For those who do not know themselves, who have not discovered their true selves in relationship to the rule of God, they "live in poverty," and in fact become that poverty. The process of self-discovery, that is, does not remain neutral so that one gains an increment of knowledge or understanding which adorns an otherwise rich life. Rather, the knowledge itself becomes the wealth and its lack becomes poverty. The personal stakes for the seeker revolve about either a wealth or a poverty, becoming rich or poor. The starkly drawn contrast again provides a window into the emotional and psychological dynamic of those who read and interpret these sayings.

Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Thomas
Routledge; 1 edition (June 27, 1997) pp. 33-4




The Origins of Satan, Elaine Pagels

Logion 3: "One enters that kingdom when one attains self-knowledge"

"Why was this gospel suppressed, along with many others that have remained virtually unknown for nearly two thousand years? Originally part of the sacred library of the oldest monastery in Egypt, these books were buried, apparently, around 370 C.E., after the archbishop of Alexandria ordered Christians all over Egypt to ban such books as heresy and demanded their destruction. Two hundred years earlier, such works had already been attacked by another zealously orthodox bishop, Irenaeus of Lyons. Irenaeus was the first, so far as we know, to identify the four gospels of the New Testament as canonical, and to exclude all the rest. Distressed that dozens of gospels were circulating among Christians throughout the world, including his own Greek-speaking immigrant congregation in Gaul, Irenaeus denounced as heretics those who 'boast that they have more gospels than there really are ... but really, they have no gospels that are not full of blasphemy.' Only the four gospels of the New Testament, Irenaeus insisted, are authentic. What was his reasoning? Irenaeus declared that just as there are only four principal winds, and four corners of the universe, and four pillars holding up the sky, so there can be only four gospels. Besides, he added, only the New Testament gospels were written by Jesus own disciples (Matthew and John), or their followers (Mark, disciple of Peter, and Luke, disciple of Paul).

Few New Testament scholars today agree with Irenaeus. Although the gospels of the New Testament—like those discovered at Nag Hammadi—are attributed to Jesus' followers, no one knows who actually wrote any of them; furthermore, what we know about their dating makes the traditional assumptions, in all cases, extremely unlikely. Yet Irenaeus's statements remind us that the collection of books we call the New Testament was formed as late as 180-200 C.E. Before that time, many gospels circulated throughout the Christian communities scattered from Asia Minor to Greece, Rome, Gaul, Spain, and Africa. Yet by the late second century, bishops of the church who called themselves orthodox rejected all but the four canonical gospels, denouncing all the rest, in Irenaeus's words, as 'an abyss of madness, and blasphemy against Christ.' Irenaeus wanted to consolidate Christian groups threatened by persecution throughout the world. The gospels he endorsed helped institutionalize the Christian movement. Those he denounced as heresy did not serve the purpose of institutionalization. Some, on the contrary, urged people to seek direct access to God, unmediated by church or clergy.

The Gospel of Thomas, as noted above, claims to offer secret teaching— teaching quite different from that of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. According to Mark, for example, Jesus first appears proclaiming that 'the time is at hand; the Kingdom of God is drawing near. Repent, and believe in the gospel' (1:15). According to Mark, the world is about to undergo cataclysmic transformation: Jesus predicts strife, war, conflict, and suffering, followed by a world-shattering event—the coming of the Kingdom of God (13:1-37).

But in the Gospel of Thomas the 'kingdom of God' is not an event expected to happen in history, nor is it a 'place.' The author of Thomas seems to ridicule such views:

Jesus said, 'If those who lead you say to you, 'Lord, 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' (NCH II.32.19-24).

Here the kingdom represents a state of self-discovery:

'Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourself, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father' (NHC II.32.25-33.5)

But the disciples, mistaking that kingdom for a future event, persist in naive questioning:

'When will...the new world come?' Jesus said to them, 'What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it' (NHC II.42- 10-12)

According to the Gospel of Thomas, then, the kingdom of God symbolizes a state of transformed consciousness. One enters that kingdom when one attains self-knowledge. The Gospel of Thomas teaches that when one comes to know oneself, at the deepest level, one simultaneously comes to know God as the source of one's being."

Elaine Pagels, The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews
Pagans, and Heretics, Vintage (1965) 69-71




Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha
"This supreme self cannot be realised, O Rama, by means other than wisdom - not indeed by exerting oneself in religious practices."

RAMA: O Holy sage! Pray, tell me what the mind really is.

VASISTHA: Even as empty, inert nothingness is known as space, mind is empty nothingness. Whether the mind is real or unreal, it is that which is apprehended in objects of perception.

Rama, thought is mind, there is no distinction between the two. The self that is clothed in the spiritual body is known as mind; it is that which brings the material or physical body into existence. Ignorance, samsara (repetitive history), mind-stuff, bondage, impurity, darkness and inertia are all synonyms. Experience alone is the mind; it is none other than the perceived.

This entire universe is forever non-different from the consciousness that dwells in every atom, even as an ornament is non-different from gold. Just as an ornament potentially exists in gold, the object exists in the subject. But when this notion of the object is firmly rejected and removed from the subject, then consciousness alone exists without even an apparent or potential objectivity. When this is realised, evils like attraction and repulsion, love and hate, cease in one's heart, as also the false notions of the world, you, I, etc. Even the tendency to objectify ceases; this is freedom.

RAMA: Holy sir, if the object of perception is real, then it shall not cease to be. If it is unreal, then we do not see it as unreal; so how can we overcome this?

VASISTHA: Yet, O Rama, we see that there are holy ones who have overcome this! External objects like space,etc., and psychological factors like "I" etc., exist only in name. In reality neither the objective universe, nor the perceiving self, nor perception as such, nor void, nor inertness exists; only one is, cosmic consciousness (cit). In this it is the mind that conjures up the diversity, diverse actions and experiences, the notion of bondage and the desire for liberation.

RAMA: O Holy sage! What is the source of this mind and how did it arise? Kindly enlighten me on these.

VASISTHA: After the cosmic dissolution and before the next epoch dawned, the entire objective universe was in a state of perfect equilibrium. There then existed the supreme Lord, the eternal, unborn, self-effulgent, who is the all and who is omnipotent. He is beyond conception and description; though he is known by various names like Atma etc., these are viewpoints and not the truth. He is, yet he is not realised by the world; he is within the body, too, yet he is far. From him emerge countless divinities like lord Visnu, even as countless rays emerge from the sun; from him emerge infinite worlds as ripples arise from the surface of the ocean.

He is the cosmic intelligence into which countless objects of perception enter. He is the light in which the self and the world shine. He ordains the characteristic nature of every created thing. In him the worlds appear and disappear, even as a mirage appears and disappears repeatedly. His form (the world) vanishes, but his self is unchanging. He dwells in all. He is hidden and he overflows. By his mere presence, this apparently inert material world and its inhabitants are ever active. Because of his omnipresent omnipotent omniscience, his very thoughts materialise.

This supreme self cannot be realised, O Rama, by means other than wisdom— not indeed by exerting oneself in religious practices. This self is neither far nor near; it is not inaccessible nor is it in distant places: it is what in oneself appears to be the experience of bliss, and is therefore realised in oneself.

Austerity or penance, charity and the observances of religious vows do not lead to the realisation of the Lord; only the company of holy men and the study of true scriptures are helpful, as they dispel ignorance and delusion. [Only] when one is convinced that this self alone is real, one goes beyond sorrow, on the path of liberation.

Austerity or penance is self-inflicted pain. Of what value is charity performed with wealth earned by deceiving others — only they derive the fruits of such charity! Religious observances add to one's vanity. There is only one remedy for ignorance of the Lord — the firm and decisive renunciation of craving for sense-pleasure.

Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha
State University of New York Press (October 1984), pp. 41-43




Logion 3 "Align Thomas christianity with other religious practices and separate Thomas as distinct and different from other understandings about reality and salvation."

Wrap Up for Saying 3
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Saying 3 discusses the location of the kingdom and places its hearers in the position of being children of the living father. This establishes the dynamic of intimate relation and servitude simultaneously. The kingdom is inside and outside, present, and accessible through knowledge which places one in a state of wealth as opposed to poverty. The kingdom is not elsewhere and is not future, but possible here and now. The search for knowledge is an individual one, but done in the context of a community pursuing the same thing. In setting up this eschatology, it refutes the claim that the kingdom is located elsewhere, be it a claim from another Christian group, or a claim from greek mythology. Packed in this saying are a lot of assertions that both align Thomas christianity with other religious practices (such as mystics of a variety of traditions and wisdom teachers) and separate Thomas as distinct and different from other understandings about reality and salvation.


Mar 25
Self-Guided Tour
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Valantasis claims that saying 3 calls for a renunciation of outside guidance and leadership in favor of self-guided pursuit of knowledge. This claim seems to further the claim of kingdom which subverts authority other than that of the living father. Other king's and kingdoms, other leaders, must be replaced by the kingdom. Perhaps it can be read not as self-guided knowledge, as knowledge guided and mandated by the real king, the living father. The understanding of the relationship between self and living father, and living father and earthly authority are steps in the search of knowledge. The search itself may in some ways bring one closer to the living father, closer to knowledge, and from poverty into wealth.


Mar 25
Kingdom Connotations
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

A kingdom is a sovereign territory. Kingdom implies a ruler, a king, one head. A kingdom implies space, land to be ruled, and people to be ruled. A kingdom is a political province. It involves livelihoods, must deal with economics, and has to deal with defense, borders, neighbors, and political dissension from within and without. Thus to use the word kingdom is not without its own set of presuppositions and connotations. It asserts a community. Perhaps the understanding called for in saying 3 is an understanding of ones place in relation to God, as child and subject simultaneously. Recognizing the kingdom without is to subvert the authority of the current kingdoms of the earth, and to recognize the presence of other members of the kingdom.




Mar 25
Dividing Saying 3
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Plisch wants to divide saying 3 into two parts: sentences 1-3 and sentences 4/5. The first part he thinks refer to the kingdom, which I would agree with. But I disagree with Plisch's insistance that part two does not relate to the kingdom. Plisch says that the only way for the second part to refer to the kingdom is if the location of kingdom could be spiritual, a point which he claims is discredited by the phrase "Inside you and outside you." While it is valid to interpret the passage as placing the kingdom physically, I do not think that you can totally read out the spiritual possibility.

This question of spiritual / physical kingdom is taken up in the canonical gospel writers. In Luke the kingdom of God is proclaimed, as if it is an already present reality. While John asserts more spiritual salvation to be cashed in at a later date, and accessible only to a select group of people Matthew seems to presuppose a future spiritual kingdom, referring to who will inherit the kingdom of heaven, and speaking of its drawing near. Mark expects the kingdom to come to earth soon, before even those living all pass away. Thus, the presence and place of the kingdom is a lively area of inquiry and one in which each of the gospel writers has a stake in.


Mar 21
poverty
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

The consequence of not knowing yourself is dwelling in poverty and being poverty. Poverty often means a lack of money, an inability to provide for oneself and others. Extreme poverty leads to hunger and starvation, unhealthy conditions etc. I think rather than this physical poverty, the saying refers more to existential poverty, poverty of the spirit, a lack of the bounty that comes with knowledge. I think an inappropriate reading of this text would be to say that those who dwell in poverty on earth bring it on themselves due to a lack of self-understanding. Instead this seems to connect more with spiritual poverty. While the earlier part of Saying 3 seemed to refute gnosticism, the use of the word poverty here connects this part of the saying with the gnostic creation myth and the insistence that the earthly realm is poverty. In this sense, to not know yourself may be to not know that you are beyond this poverty, and to be thus stuck in a state that is surrounded by and is this poverty of being. The use of poverty does not have to be gnostic, although if it is, it calls into question whether this saying as a whole is one cohesive unit and whether it is conscious of its gnostic resonance. The word poverty could be drawing on common language. For Biblical parallels, it seems the majority of instances poverty refers to physical poverty, to helping the poor. However, 2 Corinthians 8:8-10, could be construed as a spiritual poverty, as in a commentary on the passage by Matthew Henry. Is the use of poverty gnostic, and has that seeped into 2 Corinthians? Or is the presence of spiritual poverty in 2 Corinthians evidence that the use of poverty in spiritual terms does not need to be gnostic?




Mar 21
children or sons of the living (F)ather
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Lambdin translates sons, what Patterson/Meyer and Patterson/Robinson translate as children. Maybe someone can offer some greek and coptic help to get closer to the gender of this word. I bring it up because the use of sons or children has implications. Can only males be children of the father? Are only sons welcome? Or, related to Allie's saying from last time, must women be transformed to men somehow, into sons? Perhaps it is just a word or a translation issue, but it can have far reaching repercussions for the treatment and understanding men and women.

Another difference is Lambdin has lowercase living father, while Patterson/Meyer and Patterson/Robinson have uppercase Father. The capitalization connects with the convention of capitalizing references to God. Thus implied in these translations is the idea that father refers to God. An assumption which for some reason does not seem to made in Lambdin's translation. Is Lambdin proposing that the father is not God? Or does Lambdin not use the convention of capitalizing references to God?


Mar 21
come to know yourselves
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

How does one know oneself? Or, perhaps more importantly, how does one fail to know oneself? It seems knowing yourself goes beyond name, where you are from, your interests, your contacts and connections and family tree. Perhaps knowing yourself means to know the kingdom inside you. The continuing line "And you will understand that you are the children of the living father (Patterson/Meyer's) provides the possibility that knowing yourself means knowing who you are in relation to the living Father (one can assume that this refers in some way to God the Father). Knowing yourself means knowing you are God's child, and I suppose understanding what that means.

Saying 3 also says that in knowing yourself you will become known. By who? By yourself would be self-evident and redundant. By others would not really make sense. By God? Why would knowing yourself make you known to God? And are you currently not known to God? This portion of the saying seems problematic.




Mar 21
kingdom everywhere
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Thomas places the kingdom inside and outside you. This can quickly be drawn in conflict with the refutation of sky and sea, aren't those around you? But rather than get caught up in that, it seems that the emphasis of the saying is its expansion of the location from one outward location, to all locations in and out. This opens up the possibility to see the kingdom, and to value the whole world, cosmos, and oneself. The kingdom outside makes one notice and look at what is around you, makes one value what is around you instead of looking for salvation somewhere else, or in some other realm. Someone with more gnostic knowledge help me out here, but it seems to me that a gnostic claim would be the opposite, would devalue the world around and place salvation elsewhere.

The other piece, the kingdom is inside you, resonates with many mystique traditions of a variety of religions in emphasizing the need to search within to find the mysteries, possibilities, knowledge of salvation. The kingdom inside precludes a self-deprecation in order to find the kingdom without.

The kingdom in AND out seems important. It is not one or the other. One cannot be totally consumed with the world outside to the detriment of the self or self-searching understanding. Likewise, one can not become a total ascetic recluse and hope to gain a full life in the kingdom, one has to remain in the world even as one looks within.


Mar 21
kingdom: neither by air or by sea
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

Saying 3 refutes any belief that the kingdom resides in the sky or in the sea. I wonder if the refutation of the sky and sea speak to Greek mythology: the sky being the realm of Zeus, the highest god, and the sea being the realm of Poseidon, the second highest god. The reason given to de-locate the kingdom from the sky and sea is that surely birds and fish would not proceed humans. Implicit in this saying is a high view of humans as superior to other creatures. Surely birds and fish would not proceed humans. It also seems to contradict certain Christian understandings of heaven as in the sky, or in the cosmic heavens. Perhaps this speaks to why Thomas was not held onto and canonized...it refutes the traditional placement of heaven.




Mar 21
Saying 3 Text
Posted by: Jamie Hofmeister in Jamie (1-23), Saying 3

(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."
(Translated by Thomas O. Lambdin)


3. Jesus said," If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) 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 (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
(Translated by Steven Patterson and Marvin Meyer)


(03) Jesus says:
(1)"If those who lead you say to you: 'Look, the kingdom is in the sky!' then the birds of the sky will precede you.
(2) If they say to you: 'It is in the sea,' then the fishes will precede you.
(3) Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and outside of you."
(4)"When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the children of the living Father.
(5) But if you do not come to know yourselves, then you exist in poverty, and you are poverty."
(Translated by Patterson and Robinson)

http://forum.davidson.edu/gospelofthomas/category/jamie/saying3/
Web. August 24, 2011




Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way
"While the newly found document have enriched our understanding of the early Christian movement, many scholars also believed that they have revolutionaized the study of the world of Jesus himself. The pioneering Quest of the Historical Jesus followed the emergence of critical historical methods in the nineteenth century which was described in a classical book by Albert Schweitzer. The second quest followed in the 1960s and 1970's, and was swiftly followed by a distinct 'third quest' in the 1980s and 1990s. (...) In large measure, this latest quest is distinguished from its predecessors by the discovery of new sources of information, above all, the hidden gospels. According to some scholars, we finally have access to documents and other resources which have been unavailable since not long after the time of the apostles: only at the end of the twentieth century did it become possible to gain an understanding of Jesus and his age infinitely superior to that of the past sixty or seventy benighted generations. To quote Stevan L. Davies, 'For nineteen hundred years or so the canonical texts of the New Testament were the sole source of historically reliable knowledge concerning Jesus of Nazareth. In 1945, this circumstance changed' (the reference s to the finding of the complete text of Thomas).

Much of the attention received by the hidden gospels reflects the advocacy of the Jesus Seminar. Fundamental to the Seminar's approach is what the group's founder Robert Funk has called 'the end of canonical imperialism,' the determination not to be constrained by only those sources approved by imperial and ecclesiastical authorities over the centuries. In 1993, the Seminar group published their new edition of The Five Gospels, in which they state that 'foremost among reasons for a new translation is the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas.' Throughout the writings of Seminar Fellows, Thomas is used as a yardstick to assess the accuracy of words attributed to Jesus. Seminar members have also been diligently engaged in publishing other suppressed texts, and have presented a major collection which boasts the title The Complete Gospels. This volume 'presents for the first time anywhere all twenty of the known gospels from the early Christian era.... Each of these gospel records offers fresh glimpses into the world of Jesus and his followers.' This effort is advertised as an attempt to restore the suppressed scriptures to the lay public, much as Luther and the early Protestant reformers gave the people the Bible in their own vernacular tongue.

If we can believe some claims about the hidden gospels, then this historical Jesus was utterly different from what most of us would have imagined until very recently. According to readings of Thomas and its like, the earliest Jesus Way was nothing like the religious system which it ultimately became, the world of Christianity. Instead of focusing on concepts such as sin and judgment, redemption and otherworldly salvation, early Jesus followers were seeks after mystical illumination, of heavenly Wisdom. Neither hierarchical nor liturgical, the movement was individualistic, egalitarian, and intoxicatingly diverse. Based on Thomas, it is claimed that Jesus' 'message is strongly counter-cultural: he shuns materialism and directs the reader towards the simple life, a spiritual existence.... Jesus here is not a messiah but a social radical, telling listeners to reject society's phony piety and the hallow values of the business world.' This Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is present and attainable here and now, within each follower: he mocks concepts of eschatology, any hopes or fears about the end of the world. The rejection of the apocalyptic Jesus is probably the greatest single insight derived from the hidden gospels, and presented as unshakable fact, the idea pervades contemporary critical New Testament scholarship. For the radical scholars at least, the change of attitude toward the nature of Jesus' core message represents a full-scale paradigm shift. Early Jesus followers were not even 'Christians,' as that term implies a belief in the concept of the messiah (christos , or anointed one), with all its theological baggage. Jesus was neither Christ, nor a Christian.

Though the controversial 'Quest for Jesus' has been widely publicized, no less significant for contemporary Christians is the equally subversive Quest for the Earliest Church, a search which depends entirely on insights from the hidden gospels. In rediscovering the real Jesus, scholars ask how the subversive inner kingdom which he preached gave way to the all too worldly power of the institutionalized churches. In this process, it is claimed, Jesus' principles of love and individual self-discovery were transformed by ideas of law and patriarchy: a popular spiritual movement became an authoritarian empire: democracy gave way to hierarchy, spontaneity to ritualism, gender equality to misogyny."

Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way
Oxford University Press (Feb 18 2003) pp. 8-10


"The preachings of religion make a person dependent on priests, temples, idols, blind faith, and dogma"


"The Upanishadic literature is not a religious scripture and is free from dogma and doctrines. It is not a part of any religion but is a philosophy for all times and for all. This philosophy does not oppose any school of thought, religion, or interpretation of the scriptures, but its methods for explaining its concepts are unique. The Upanishads should not be confused with the religious books of the East; there is a vast difference between the philosophy of the Upanishads and the preachings of any of the religious scriptures of the world. In religion and religious books, there is little practicality and much theory. One is not supposed to interpret religious sayings, for there is always the possibility of distortion. For this reason, their explanation is delegated to a few teachers and preachers who are considered to be the custodians and authorities on these scriptures. Common people do not have the opportunity to study the scriptures in depth, but instead must rely on the interpretations of such preachers who may show no signs of enlightenment and yet have influence over the conscience of the masses. Whether these clerics actually know and practice religious truths or not is never questioned, and those who do question are considered to be atheists and heretics. Intellectual bankruptcy such as this leads the masses to blind faith and causes many wars and divisions in the human race. For the younger generation today, however, empty religious preachings are not fulfilling, for the modern mind likes to use reason and logic before it accepts anything as truth.

With the development of science and technology, there has arisen a provocative mind that questions the existing religions and their role in society. The modern mind has started questioning, but the search for truth still remains obscured because scientific explorations are directed externally and not toward the inner levels of life. Science and technology are materially oriented, but a human being is not matter or energy alone. Most human resources are currently being directed to matter, mind, and energy, but little effort is being made toward the expansion and exploration of human consciousness. Modern psychologists are scratching the surface of mental life in order to eliminate superficial human problems in the external world, but the vital questions of life are not yet resolved, for they are beyond the grasp of materially-oriented thinking.

The Upanishads prepare, inspire, and lead the student to know and realize the Ultimate Truth. First of all, the philosophy of the Upanishads frees one to cast away his intellectual slavery to blind faith, superstitions, sectarian beliefs, and dogmas. Then it helps one to expand his individual consciousness to Universal Consciousness; thus one's personality is transformed, and one becomes a universal being. An individual is essentially Brahman, or identical to Universal Consciousness, and direct realization of that truth is called enlightenment. Current religious preachings, on the other hand, are enveloped in a thick layer of dust, and they need a complete shakeup. Religion needs modification to suit the needs of modern man. There seem to be two options for humanity: either it stops listening to the preachings, starts seeking the truth, and rejoices in the broader awareness of truthful living; or it continues to follow religious dogma, fails to attain the next step of civilization, and remains in ignorance and suffering. Upon careful analysis of the living and thinking structure of modern human society, anyone can see that the process of human evolution is in a state of stagnation. All current research is directed to the external world; thus the human goal has become materially oriented and superficial. Human beings today have nothing better to live for than acquiring many comforts. These may be necessities and means, but because attaining them lacks a goal or aim, they create a hollow and empty philosophy that brings only strain and stress.

The preachings of religion make a person dependent on priests, temples, idols, blind faith, and dogma, and dependence is a habit of the lower mind. Such crutches may be useful at a certain stage for some people, but they do not lead one to Ultimate Truth. A dependent mind is not free, and without freedom, enlightenment is impossible. Religious dogmas are full of beliefs and myths that do not satisfy the human intellect and that bind believers to a narrow view of life and human potential. Such preachings instill more fear than love in the hearts of the masses. Religion either promises salvation or threatens the tortures of hell, but it does not provide sound solutions to the hellish problems and situations that plague human beings here and now. Nor does it satisfactorily explain life before birth or after death. One of the main themes of Upanishadic philosophy, however, is to attain a state of fearlessness, cheerfulness, and self-confidence. In addition, the Upanishads lead the student to know life in its totality. Knowledge of life before birth, knowledge of now, and knowledge of life hereafter can be realized through the methods given in the Upanishads. The Upanishads provide systematic methods for self-training, self-transformation, and self-enlightenment. They lead aspirants 'from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from mortality to Immortality.'

The founders of religion were selfless and sincere—great seers, sages, and spiritual leaders. But as religions grew, the teachings of the founders were lost, and only the preachings of their selfish followers remained. Because of this, the great religion of the East was reduced to the narrow faith and beliefs of Hinduism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Practical Christianity also disappeared forever, and there remained only churchianity. History shows that religionists do not actually encourage one to follow in the footsteps of the founder of their religion by practicing his teachings, but, rather, they instruct their followers to worship the image or the name of the founder of the religion through priests. Many religious leaders who claim to know God are more miserable than those they attempt to lead; they suffer from trite egoism, jealousy, and selfishness. The light of truth cannot shine through such barriers. Thus, the blind are leading the blind. The philosophy of the Upanishads is not bound by a single founder or religion, however, and it is as applicable today as it was thousands of years ago, and it will be so for as long as humanity exists.

Religious dogma sets forth rigid commandments presented in terms of good and bad, black and white, with no explanations to support them. In the long run, these create serious overreactions and overcompensations in the human mind. All the books from the different religions repeat set laws of conduct in the same way, yet each of these religions claims that it is superior to all the others. Religious beliefs may offer solace to lower, primitive, less educated, and uncultivated minds, but they have nothing to offer those who already know what to do and what not to do, and who are seeking logical solutions to life's questions and guidance in learning how to be. In today's so-called civilized I society, the moral laws preached by the leaders and preachers seem to be incomplete. Such teachings and preachings are, therefore, misleading and are a mere waste of time and energy. As long as the preachers, police, and army have to guard the morality of human beings, this cannot be considered to be a civilized society. The moral custodians of today's world are actually atomic weapons, not the laws given in the religious books of the world. Thus, material forces are guiding the destiny of human life. Human beings have lost their center of equilibrium and live without any sense of equality, love, and mutual understanding. Religions do not teach unity but create divisions in human society. The Upanishads do not impose commandments, but, rather, offer practical guidelines and methods for self-discipline and self-unfoldment. The steps for inner growth contained in the Upanishads can be incorporated into one's individual lifestyle and can help one examine the accomplishments of one's spiritual practice (sadhana).

Religions can be divided into two groups. One group follows the prophets but does not believe in inner experience. These religions are actually cults and are full of rituals, fear, guilt, and fanaticism. The other group of religions has a vast spiritual literature, but the followers are exploited by priests who involve them in rituals without explaining their purpose or establishing their validity. Therefore, both types of religion have been exploiting humanity and, thus, crippling human efforts to evolve and attain the next step of civilization in which people will learn to live with others in mutual understanding and love. The vast majority of the human population practices religious rituals in some way or other, but no ritual exists that can eliminate the ignorance that causes pain and misery.

Religions have two great weapons to conquer the hearts of their followers: faith and grace. The way faith is described in religious scriptures is not actually faith at all, but is blind belief based on ignorance and rigidity of tradition. Tradition and truth are entirely different. One is mingled with customs, systems, cultures, habits, thoughts, feelings, and desires, and the latter is a search for the Ultimate Reality. For attaining truth, everything the aspirant has, including thoughts, deeds, and speech, becomes a means for attaining truth; while in tradition, all means are used for the sake of convenience, pleasure, and gratification. Religionists and their faithful followers are afraid to analyze the very nature of their faith. Thus, one is lost in a morass of religious fanaticism. Faith that does not recognize the faculty of reasoning and that has not been filtered by reasoning is based on blind beliefs that remain unexamined. They thus unnecessarily create doubts, and when doubts are not resolved, such faith disappears. Blind faith, being empty and devoid of any real reason or fact, is often found wanting when one has a problem and expects to find a strong basis that will support and carry him through difficult times. Then one finds, instead, nothing to hold on to or anchor oneself to. Because of this weakness in religious faith, religious dogma says that faith is a gift from God, and that if one questions it, then it might vanish and be lost. True faith is supported by pure reason, which is attained through thoughtful analysis of life. Following the extended practice of sadhana; and purification, a few fortunate seekers realize and know the nature of the world as it is and also experience the all-pervading truth that enlightens the' dark chamber of the aspirant's heart.

The Upanishads say that to rise above and reach a state beyond and to know the real nature of the transitory world, one must cultivate logic and pure reason and make sincere efforts with the help of deep contemplation. They declare, 'Only that which is good and auspicious in Upanishadic literature should be revered and brought into practice, and the rest should be left behind for further introspection.'

In religions, grace is considered to be a gift bestowed on the seeker, either as a reward for following the commandments or by mere whim. Thus, the bestowing of blessings serves as a bribe to make one conform, and it implies that the seeker is helpless to succeed by his own effort. There is often little sense of individual mastery but rather a reliance on the favors of fate or the judgments of the preachers. Fear and insecurity are the logical results.

Today religion has degenerated so much that it has become totally materialistic. No matter how good a heart one has, if one is not on the list of followers and supporters of the church, then one's faith does not have any value in the eyes of religionists. Religious leaders and preachers who claim to be custodians of faith and grace sell faith to blind followers for wealth and favors, and, thus, religious materialism takes the place of spiritual sincerity.

Various schools of theology argue over the semantics and meaning of the verses and parables of religious scriptures and never reach any shared interpretation. In order to confront the question of life, one must remain unaffected by religious dogma, doctrines, and superstition, and one must make use of one's finest instrument, the intellect. The Upanishads do not encourage students to depend on the sayings of the scriptures; rather they inspire them to be self-reliant and discriminating. Religious dogma encourages people to follow the canons of a particular sectarian belief that is limited to a specific group. Thus, instead of expanding universal brotherhood, it further divides humanity and pollutes human feelings with biases and prejudice. Upanishadic philosophy is the expression of supreme knowledge directly experienced by great sages and is not confined to caste, color, society, or nation.

Today the world lives under the law of fear, trembling with doubts and uncertainty. No prophet of the law of love is to be found, and one finds no leaders who give object lessons, sympathy, and good will, and who identify with the true happiness of individuals and nations and the highest good of mankind. Many religious leaders exist, but it is amazing to note how tired and confused they are. 'Rise, awake, and gain knowledge'—this Upanishad declares that one should not act like a gigantic inert person who is dumb and desolate, who knows not the meaning of life and the universe. All human beings have the essential potentialities to understand and direct their life streams toward the ocean of bliss. The message of Upanishadic philosophy extends good will to the whole of humanity, saying, 'Let all of mankind be happy; let all of humanity attain physical, mental, and spiritual health; let all receive and enjoy auspiciousness; let no one experience pain and misery here and hereafter."

Swami Raja, Enlightenment Without God
Himalayan Inst Pr (June 1982) pp. 11-18




Logion 3: ("You have to enter into the Kingdom of God here, as I say, in the Seventh Chakra")

"You have to take a stand in your family, in your surroundings, with your friends, and you have to tell them, "You better all get realized." The reason for that is that the Christ who crucified Himself is going to come back with His Eleven Forces of Destruction. And when He starts He is not going to ask you to take any Realization. No one is going to be bothered whether you are going to hell. He will just sort out. But those who have got Realization will enter into the Kingdom of God. You have to enter into the Kingdom of God here, as I say, in the Seventh Chakra."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
The New Age Has Started, Houston, USA—Oct. 6, 1981


"As soon as the Sahasrara was opened the whole atmosphere was filled with tremendous Chaitanya. And there was tremendous light in the sky. And the whole thing came on the Earth — as if a torrential rain or a waterfall — with such tremendous force, as if I was unaware and got stupefied. The happening was so tremendous and so unexpected that I was stunned and totally silent at the grandeur.

I saw the Primordial Kundalini rising like a big furnace, and the furnace was very silent but a burning appearance it had, as if you heat up metal, and it had many colors. In the same way, the Kundalini showed up as a furnace, like a tunnel, as you see these plants you have here for coal burning that create electricity. And it stretched like a telescope and came out one after another, Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Just like that.

And the Deities came and sat on their seats, golden seats, and then they lifted the whole of the head like a big dome and opened it, and then this torrential rain complete drenched Me. I started seeing all that and got lost in the Joy. It was like an artist seeing his own creation, and I felt the Joy of great fulfillment.

After coming out of this beautiful experience I looked around and saw human beings so blind and I became absolutely silent, and desired that I should get the cups to fill the Nectar...."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Paris, France—May 5, 1982


"Today we are celebrating the opening of the Sahasrara. On this day I must say it was a Great Happening that took place on all the humanity. It was such an achievement, which I never realized before. Now I can see that without Self-Realization it would have been impossible to talk to people.

Then this happened! I thought that how I will talk to people about it because no one would understand Me and it would be a big mistake on My part to say something about Sahasrara because even about Sahasrara nowhere in the scriptures something was described. It was absolutely an ambiguous description I would say where people could not even have thought there is a realm beyond Sahasrara, and one has to enter that realm where is the Reality.

That time what I saw around Me was darkness and unless and until there are many Lights, people will never realize that how important it is to have Light."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Adi Shakti Puja, Cabella, Italy—June 9, 1996


"Today is a great day for us, for all the Sahaja Yogis that on this day ... the Sahasrara was opened out. It was just a miracle I should say because I didn't think that I am at a point where it could be done. So I wanted to wait but some things happened that made Me think that it had to be opened. It was in such a situation that I felt if I delayed it anymore now it may help these false gurus to spread their nonsense all over."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
To Achieve Complete Freedom, Sahasrara Puja, Cabella, Italy—May 7, 1995


"For all of us the seekers the last work of the Divine of opening the last centre in the Great Primordial Being was done on the 5th of May, 1970. It is the greatest event of all the spiritual happenings of the Universe. It was done with great care and great attachment. It is not in the limits of human understanding how things are worked in the heavens. It is your fortune and God's Love that has worked this one.

Without this happening there could not have been a possibility to give mass Realization to people. One could have done it on one or two persons here and there, but to give such a mass awakening could not have been possible."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Opening Of The Primordial Sahasrara
Sahasrara Puja, Paris, France—May 5, 1982


"So it was a turmoil ... and at this turmoil state only Adi Shakti had to come to establish the Dharma...

When I was born I was shocked at the way people were. At that time I don't think I met many seekers... First I thought I've come a little early ... but then I saw these horrible false gurus also throwing their charms on people and trying to control them. That made Me really, really think that now I'd better stop worrying as to what sort of people there are — let's start! And that's how the first Brahmarandhra Chedan took place in India. It was 5th May, 1970 ... in the morning time."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Incarnation Of God's Divine Love
Adi Shakti Puja, Cabella, Italy—June 6, 1993


"You know that I reside in the Sahasrara. I incarnated on the Lotus of 1000 Petals; that is why I could break it open also."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Jump Into The Ocean Of Love
Sahasrara Puja, Sorento, Italy—May 6, 1989


"By saying there's no God, God doesn't disappear. He is very much there. Sahaja Yoga is the only way you can prove the existence of God and all that is said so far about all these Incarnations because the Seventh Chakra is now open. You get your Realization, and you become the spirit. It is so imminent that the Seventh Chakra had to be opened so that you pass from one life level to another level."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
Geneva, Switzerland—June 13, 1985


"Without breaking the Sahasrara we could not have achieved the ascent en masse... To keep Sahasrara open should be very easy if the western brains could understand and be aware of your Mother. When your Mother is the Deity of Sahasrara the only way to be able to keep the Sahasrara open has to be complete surrendering. For that many ask Me, "How do we do it'?" It's a very funny question. It is irrelevant. If your Sahasrara has been opened by someone, and luckily that is the Deity before you, it should be the easiest thing to surrender.

But it is not ... What is surrendering? ... What do you have to surrender? A drop has to dissolve in the Ocean to become the Ocean, and a drop cannot be greater than the Ocean — can it be? So what is the surrendering? Surrendering of our conditionings, of our ego, and the artificial barriers we have built around us ...

But one should know this is the greatest of greatest opportunity for you, not for the Divine. If you are not available the Divine can find its own way of fulfilling its Last Culmination of Expression. Even to understand how immense the task is you need a surrendering heart. The area of the Sahasrara is the realm of God. When the Brahmarandhra opens fully then the heavens open within yourself. The Kundalini, which has risen up and given you Realization, creates the opening by which the Divine starts pouring all its subtleties inside your brain ...

All of us can achieve that state of Nirvikalpa... After Nirvikalpa you cannot come down."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji
You Have To Be In Nirvikalpa, Vienna, Austria—May 4, 1985


"When the Kundalini enters the Agnya Chakra, She enlightens it. Then Christ within you is enlightened or awakened. He sucks both these balloons of ego and the super-ego and the whole Agnya Chakra opens. There is simultaneous opening of the Sahasrara. I saw the Sahasrara of the Virata open. It was like tongues of flames. Just like when you dissect the human brain, its cross-section looks like petals of flame. In the center of it, it looks like a yellow hole. The opening of the Sahasrara is sudden. With a bang it opens."

The Paraclete Sri Mataji


Related Articles:
Gospel of Thomas
THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS PROLOGUE
LOGION 1
LOGION 2
LOGION 3
LOGION 4
LOGION 5
LOGION 6
LOGION 7
LOGION 8
LOGION 9
LOGION 10
LOGION 11
LOGION 12
LOGION 13
LOGION 14
LOGION 15
LOGION 16
LOGION 17
LOGION 18
LOGION 19
LOGION 20
LOGION 21


THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
"The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction"Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

"Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man."
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

"And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been."
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

"The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial"
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

"But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything."
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

"Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine."
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

"The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree."
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

"The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus."
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the "coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages."
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

"The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ."
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

"The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right."
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that "The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person."
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

"The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious)"
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

"The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space."
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

"The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world."
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's "Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed."
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

"While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors."
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

"The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

"The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life."
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

"The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete"
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

"This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing."
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

"Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present"
Robert Kysar, John

"They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation."
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

"The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17)."
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


"I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


"Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


"This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


"The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective resurrection."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


"Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the Divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their spirit."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


"The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all the scriptures of the world."

The Paraclete Shri Mataji



"Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture - has to be there."

The Paraclete Shri Mataji, Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


"But today is the day I declare that I am the One who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the One who is Adishakti, who is The Mother of all The Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it. I was the One who was born again and again, but now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the Joy, the Bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you."

The Paraclete Shri Mataji, December 2, 1979—London, UK


"It is The Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


"She is your pure Mother. She is The Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it."

The Paraclete Shri Mataji, Public Program Mar 22 1981—Sydney, Australia


"The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible."

The Paraclete Shri Mataji, Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK





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