The first quote above, from the Gospel of Thomas (found in 1945 with the Nag Hammadi Gospels, which were very early writings from the advent of Christianity and apparently hidden because they were considered heretical)......came into my mind yesterday, very clearly. When that happens, I figure it's worth meditating on. And there are some very personal reasons why this is important to me right now.**"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." The Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi)"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered."
I have not thought of this beautiful quote for many years. When I began my "vision quest", shortly after graduate school, to learn about art and spirituality I wrote this quote into the margins of notebooks. The second quote also, I feel, contributes to these reflections.
According to Wikipedia, the introduction to the Gospel of Thomas states that "These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down." Didymus (Greek) and Thomas (Aramaic) both mean "twin". Some scholars have pointed out that there was a widespread tradition in early church documents, as well as some surviving Christian traditions, that Jesus had a twin brother, by the name of Didymos Judas Thomas, but most feel this is unlikely. My sense is that the meaning of "twin" can be understood, from the vantage point of the early Gnostic Christianity, as a metaphor. All are "twins" of the great teacher, with the same potentiality and the same origin - this idea, of course, along with most of the Gnostic sects, would have been highly heretical as the church became an institution and developed the latter idea of Jesus as divine savior, with it's hierarchy .
"Gnosis (from one of the Greek words for knowledge γνῶσις) is the spiritual knowledge of a saint or mystically enlightened human being. Within the cultures of the term's provenance (Byzantine and Hellenic) Gnosis was a knowledge or insight into the infinite, divine and uncreated in all rather than knowledge strictly into the finite, natural or material world. Gnosis is a transcendental as well as mature understanding. " WikipediaI've been thinking a great deal about what Jung termed "Shadow" recently. I believe this saying from the Gospel of Thomas is significant to an understanding of this concept. I carried it about as an encouragement to be an artist, to affirm deeply the life-affirming creative impulse. But one does not have to be a professional artist to "bring forth that which is within".
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you."
We are all creative, in fact, the need to create may be our most profound human drive, right up there with sex and reproduction (which, if you think about it, is all about creation as well). We come into the world with this energy, this drive, some even say we each come into the world with a creative destiny, a "soul purpose". We are channels and depositories of creative energy, and through expression of creative energy we are affirmed, healed, we learn, we connect with the world and each other, and we're inspired. It's the life force. An individual's unique integrity, personal truth, is also deeply connected to the creative force.
"If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
Creative energy denied becomes toxic, stagnant, destructive. I believe Jesus was truly revolutionary in this profound statement. To live without responding to one's authentic creative impulse and innermost truth is to live with despair that can become carcinogenic, a breeding ground of physical,emotional and psychic disease and destructive social harm. When we deny our authentic expression, when we lie, we do a great disservice to ourselves.
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven."
This also is a revolutionary statement for the time Jesus lived in, and a revolutionary statement for our time. To "do what you hate" is to live a hateful life, without personal integrity.
"For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered."
Here the Gospel of the Twin is saying that we live in a Quantum universe.Nothing is really hidden. What is denied (or unconscious) will still manifest, what is seemingly hidden from ourselves or others is nevertheless perceived on unconscious levels. We're all connected, integral, telepathic. All things manifest through the creative potential we possess - we are all creative and collectively co-creative. But those forces are neutral - they can manifest as positive or negative, consciously or unconsciously. We need to take responsibility for the font of creative force that each of us is.
**I've been going through MRI's to determine if I may a disease, and I reflect that this quote has particular meaning for me in terms of how I muster my energies for healing.