Gospel of Thomas with Doug and Noa: Logion 14

Logion 14:   Jesus said to them, “If you (plur.) fast, you will acquire a sin, and if you pray you will be condemned, and if you give alms, it is evil that you will do unto your spirits. And when you go into any land and travel in the country places, when they receive you eat whatever they serve to you. Heal those among them who are sick. For, nothing that enters your mouth will defile you (plur.). Rather, it is precisely what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.”

Noa: This one as a whole says something, I think.  The first part looks like things we do that are judged by others.  I do not know their Christian meaning so not sure of the deeper meaning.  He goes on to say heal all. Maybe this is about actions having consequences through perception of others and goes on to be another cautionary story about only teaching to people what they are ready for.  I think this one just goes over my head beyond what is obvious.

_____________________

Doug:

Yep, this one is over my head, too.  I’ll give it a shot, though. Probably off.  

I think that Jesus was speaking to a particular audience at a particular time.  He surely doesn’t mean that all fasting, praying, and alms giving is wrong. Yet, for a master consciousness teacher of the highest level, he was addressing what then may have been totally new: that the Floating Self is glorified when fasting, praying, and alms giving are connected to one’s self-image, self-importance, and following religious rubrics for the sake of the ritual, only. Truly, the most evil done in the world is individual and collective Floating Self actions done in the name of God, and we don’t know it.  In other words, we can get wrapped up in the image of doing holy things (Floating Self) but that just reinforces our egoic self.  Not good if we want transformation.  

The “eat whatever they give you,” is important because the disciples whom he was sending out were good Jewish boys who were full of their religious rigor and they knew that eating pork, and non-Kosher meals, was sinful.  Yet, here Jesus says… it is way more important to be connected than correct! Jesus is distinguishing the non-essentials from the essentials. Jesus’ “kingdom” is grounded in relationships and servicing the person, not following the law for the sake of the law.  One of the recent Catholic popes, who was made a saint (recently) had as his motto: In Essentials, Unity; In Non-essentials, Liberty; and in all Cases, Charity. How awesome is that! Jesus was saying the same thing, I think.  

“For, nothing that enters your mouth will defile you (plur.). Rather, it is precisely what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.”

Here, Jesus is reinforcing that it is not the food that goes into the body that is defiling.  This was totally novel and quite frankly heretical (!) for a Jewish rabbi to suggest this. The Jews at his time (as well as the Orthodox Jews now) have many prohibitions against certain foods, thinking that by following the law of their belief system, they are making God happy and following God’s clear plan.  We, Christians, have our own hangups just like this. So, Jesus is saying that we need to be mindful of what comes out of our mouth.

As the Buddhists teach: Right Speech is important. Is what is coming out loving? Is it coming from the lower chakras or the higher? Does it honor unity? Does it know how to set appropriate boundaries?  Jesus is turning the whole thing on its religious head here and leading to transformation, because right speech requires the balance of love and wisdom, heart with head. Difficult to do when we feel anxiety or insecurity, especially when we are in new territory, as these new recruits of Jesus’ movement were.

We all need to seek places of being uncomfortable and watch our insecurities.  Can we be mindful of our Floating Self while in new places? Can we release love/light when we feel awkward? That’s what Jesus was trying to say, perhaps.

Anchored Self, v3
The Anchored Self is “Christ in you.” It’s our own “Christhood.” The Floating Self is our image self, our egoic self.  It’s not bad but it IS dangerous if that is the only self we think we are; and many are ensconced in their Floating Selves their whole lives. The only way into our Anchored Selves is through listening to our suffering and moments of great love that present themselves every day, if we have the eyes to see them.  Can we identify when we are in our Floating Selves and then surrender into the present moment’s life-situation in order to drop down into our Anchored Self?  The Anchored Self will always do what is right. It preferences connection over being correct.  It knows that love is patient, love is kind.  It knows that love is its own reward and that through the Anchored Self, the Logos, the Infinite Creator, one’s Higher Self, can work through us to bring more love and light into the world.  We become conduits, instruments doing God’s work. Amen.

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