Jesus said, Seek and you will find. Yet, what you asked me about in former times and which I did not tell you then, now I do desire to tell, but you do not inquire after it. (92)
Nancy Johnson: Jesus said: Seek and you shall find. What you have asked me recently I did not tell you then. I want to tell you now, when you are not asking me.
This verse can be understood in two different ways depending on which of these translations is the basis.
The first meaning is that often in the beginning of spiritual life people are not just keen to learn, their intuition is waking up and they inquire after aspects that ordinary people would never even consider. But in time they become self-satisfied and settle down to a kind of lukewarm involvement that they find comfortable and without challenges. Then when they reach the point where their former inquiries can be answered since their understanding has deepened, they have long ago forgotten their questions and even their interest.
In the second chapter of Revelation Jesus speaks well of those in the church of Ephesus, but concludes by saying: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). It is not unusual for human beings to level or cool off from their initial fervor in spiritual life. But what is needed is for the temperature to keep climbing with no slackening whatsoever. The only remedy for this is regular and faithful spiritual study and practice–especially meditation.
The second meaning is that often a person reaches out to what is beyond him, his confidence actually being a symptom of his unreadiness. But when he has become centered in his spiritual practice and has learned patience, then he is able to comprehend what he sought before but was not matured enough to encompass at that time. It is a kind of Zen principle: only when we stop asking are we ready for the answers; only when we no longer desire something are we capable of possessing it wisely and to our benefit. In other words: if you want it you should not have it, and if you no longer want it then it should be yours. This is the way things are with the topsy-turvy mind when we begin serious spiritual pursuit. Perseverance is the key.
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Give Not…