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Chapter 49 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return. (49)

Jesus said, Blessed are the solitary and elect. Spiritual self-sufficiency is a cardinal trait of those who are going to succeed in spiritual life. Dependency on any but God (first) and ourselves (second) is harmful to us in every aspect of life, but especially in spiritual matters. Infantilism in religion has been popular throughout the ages because infants can be controlled completely and made into what the parents want. Enslavement in many forms is a natural aspect of ignorant human life.

Throughout history people have been slaves in countless ways, physical, mental and moral. But when Jesus speaks of being solitary or alone (as in some translations) he is not talking to hermits but to disciples that even then were engaged a great deal in contact with others as emissaries of Jesus in his mission. But they were solitary in that they were free from outer influence, having had their inner consciousness opened by Jesus and his teachings so only the inner light was their guide, and on that alone they depended to lead them to oneness with God–the sole true goal of human existence.

They were not slaves or servants of either Jesus or God, for Jesus said to them: “I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). Religion is riddled with enslavement, especially Eastern religion. See the spectacle of modern glitter-gurus and their slaves. But Jesus called his disciples friends–not disciples. And he told them they were sons of God, not servants. Paramhansa Yogananda, who publicly taught real Christianity in the twentieth century, taught people to pray: Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, Friend, Beloved God.

The elect are those that have been chosen by God and predestined for enlightenment: every single sentient being in all creation.

For you will find the kingdom, the kingdom regarding which Jesus said: “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Jesus was a master yogi and his followers were yogis as well. Otherwise they could never have become blessed, self-sufficient, elect or friends and sons of God. Certainly, having opened their inner eyes and ears they would discover that blessed inner kingdom.

While writing the foregoing sentence I suddenly heard in my mind’s ear a song I grew up singing at church:

There’s a theme that is sweet to my mem’ry,
There’s a joy that I cannot declare,
There’s a treasure that gladdens my being,
’Tis the kingdom of righteousness here.

We hadn’t the faintest idea of what we were singing, but some years later when I read the Bhagavad Gita and Autobiography of a Yogi I found out the meaning and became a yogi to act on my newfound understanding.

For you are from it, and to it you will return. This is the major difference between Eastern and Western religion.

In the West any contact with God is a kind of intrusion on or break in normal life which has to be followed up by a complete overcoming of the natural order and forcing one’s way to God on a perilous path from which anyone who falls, falls to their everlasting damnation.

In the East it is realized that contact with God, and any subsequent drawing nearer to God, is an expression of our eternal nature. That our very being is rooted in God and any separation from him in consciousness is abnormal, an interruption of the true order of things. Therefore to return to God is the most natural thing possible and is absolutely inevitable for God is our origin and our destiny. The question is not If, but When? It is a joyful return despite any snags occasioned by our lack of insight or understanding. Therefore the Catholic nun, Sister Maddaleva wrote:

Know you the journey that I take?
Know you the voyage that I make?
The joy of it–one’s heart could break.

No jot of time have I to spare,
Nor will to loiter anywhere,
So eager am I to be there

For that the way is hard and long,
For that gray fears upon it throng,
I set my journey to the song.

And it grows wondrous happy so
Singing I hurry on for–oh!
It is to God, to God I go.

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Children of the Light

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Chapters in The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

  1. The Open Secrets
  2. Seeking Is More Than Just Finding
  3. Seeking the Kingdom Realistically
  4. The One Goal
  5. From the Seen to the Unseen
  6. What Jesus Wants Us To Do
  7. Eat Or Be Eaten
  8. Fishing Wisely
  9. The Inner Field
  10. Guarding the Flame
  11. What Will You Do?
  12. Who Shall Lead?
  13. The Unspeakable
  14. When Virtue is Vice
  15. Father in Heaven; Father on Earth
  16. Divine Discord
  17. The Divine Gift
  18. The Origin is the End
  19. Original Being
  20. A Mustard Seed
  21. Disciples of Jesus
  22. How to Enter the Kingdom
  23. Unity of Vision
  24. Where is Christ?
  25. Love and Protect
  26. Seeing
  27. The Fasting and Sabbath of the Spirit
  28. How Jesus Saw the World
  29. Hidden Treasure
  30. One
  31. The Power of Unbelief
  32. Spiritual Strength
  33. Speak It Out
  34. The Blind
  35. The Secret of Spiritual Security
  36. Live Carefree
  37. Unashamed Before God
  38. At the Source
  39. The Religion of Ignorance
  40. Within God
  41. Spiritual Gain and Loss
  42. Move On
  43. Challenging the Master
  44. The Source of Good and Evil
  45. Great in the Kingdom
  46. Impossible Duality
  47. Peace That Moves Mountains
  48. Back to the Source
  49. Children of the Light
  50. Here and Now
  51. Seeing Yet Blind
  52. Outer Ritual or Inner Growth?
  53. Infinite Transcendence
  54. “Hate”
  55. True Understanding
  56. Wheat and Weeds
  57. Finding Life
  58. Live and Die Not
  59. “Lest Thou Also…”
  60. Who Will Die; Who Will Live
  61. The Path of Unknowing
  62. Awakened by Death
  63. Turning Ourselves Away
  64. Gullibility
  65. The Rejected is Truly Accepted
  66. All–and Nothing
  67. The Blessings of Persecution
  68. Life or Death Lie Within
  69. Admission
  70. Not a Divider
  71. Seeking the Harvest
  72. Thirsting in Vain
  73. Who Shall Enter?
  74. Unfailing Treasure
  75. The All Speaks
  76. Well-dressed Ignoramuses
  77. True Blessedness
  78. A Duplication
  79. Balancing the Inner and the Outer
  80. Near and Far
  81. Seeing the Unseeable
  82. Seeing Your Unknown Side
  83. Our Forefather Adam
  84. Blessed Homelessness
  85. Doubly Wretched
  86. Onward and Upward
  87. Twofold Life
  88. The Yoke of Christ
  89. Knowing the Unknown
  90. Asking and Hearing
  91. Give Not…
  92. Seeking and Knocking
  93. Right Generosity
  94. The Expanding Kingdom
  95. The Fulfilled Universe
  96. Taking Stock
  97. The Spiritual Family
  98. Three Debts
  99. Father and Mother
  100. Exoteric Religion
  101. Ready for Invasion
  102. Penitential Discipline, Anyone?
  103. Daring to Know
  104. Ending Duality
  105. “I Love You More…”
  106. At the Source
  107. Finding the Hidden Treasure
  108. Having Come to the End
  109. Immortal and Above the World
  110. Body and Soul
  111. Where is the Kingdom?
  112. Male and Female?
  113. In Conclusion
  114. Glossary
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