Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas the Twin

"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."
The Gospel of Thomas 
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.**

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. "  Wikipedia
I'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.   


Kavod Ha Malajim said...

Thanks dearest Lauren for all the beautiful articles in your blog. And thanks for your comments in mine.
Big Hugs of Light from Kavod Ha Malajim, Girona, Spain.

Cole said...

Lauren, you have touched on so many topics within this one post which I truly have much interest in, the Nag Hammadi library, Thomas, art and our need for creativity, it is all very profound. I was going to respond accordingly, until I saw your last sentence. My heart and prayers go out to you. I pray for comfort and the healing light of the Divine be yours.

Warm Regards,

Natalie said...

Sending love and healing to you, Lauren. ♥

I have long been trying to teach people to be honest,transparent even, for there is nowhere to hide on the Other Side. As we all evolve on this Earth Plane, it is my hope that we will all be transparent here as well.
BTW, My Surname is Thomas. :)

Lauren said...

Thanks to you for your good words, and kind healing thoughts. I don't yet know the matter what the diagnosis ends up being, I feel like it's an opportunity to do some real inner transformation.

Natalie....I do so much agree with you!

Gail said...

Sending you healing energy. Gail

Robur d'Amour said...

The first quote "If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you", is very Jung.

Jung actually talks about the psychosomatic origins of illnesses and of fate, and connects the two.

There is a frequently repeated Jung quote "When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate". This is the same thing.

That quote is repeated thousands of time across the web, but no-one actually seems to say exactly where it comes from. I'm not convinced that Jung said exactly that. Jung says very similar things, but Jung's style of language is generally more complicated. I think that quote might be someone's papaphrase, but it captures the meaning.

Robur d'Amour said...

I located the Jung quote. It is authentic. The sense of that particular quote was in the context of external fateful events happening. But he does talk about illness and fate elsewhere.

Cole said...


Just a quick question. I checked out your website and I love the masks that you and your fellow artists create. I saw the green man mask from the Renaissance Faire. I was wondering if you, yourself have ever participated in the faire at Bristols, WI. Quite a distance from you I am sure, but I have a few pictures of my little one with a "spiderwoman" who weaved thread through the trees and each child walked up to the woman presenting her gifts such as a leaf or acorn. She would weave thread around it and make a necklace or something for the child. Just wondering, as the woman in picture, past the makeup, looks very much like you, but maybe it is just coincidence. Both my girls love that character at the faire.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Fantastic post. Sending you much healing energy. Given your creative drive, I simply can't imagine that the MRI will come back with anything significant. Clean bill of health.

Lauren said...

Cole, I'm delighted to know that there is a Spider Woman weaving her webs in Bristol! But no, alas, it's not me.....I've done a lot of Renfaires in my time, but never that one. But how wonderful to hear of this weaver!

Lauren said...


Thanks for your comments........I'm glad to find that out about Jung. Would like to write and explore more about this idea, and may in my next post.

Lauren said...

Thanks to all for the kind wishes, again. Somehow I think this is going to turn out ok........but it's been useful to me as a lesson and turning point in some ways. Will write about this "epiphony" later.