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From the Seen to the Unseen

Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest. (5. See Matthew 10:26, Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17, and Luke 12:2)

If we do not comprehend our real nature, who/what we really are, then we can understand nothing about our life. But it is equally necessary to have an understanding of the nature of the world around us. Dualistic philosophy postulates that we are spirits, whereas the world is matter only, that we are imprisoned in the world, and to escape from it somehow is liberation of the spirit. A misunderstanding of yoga seems to reinforce this, and most yogis subscribe to a dualistic view of things, though it may be overlaid with a veneer of non-dualism. Certainly the world is a prison, but only because we have imprisoned ourselves. A door can either keep us in or let us out–it depends on how we use it. We are the wardens of our own prison.

What is the purpose of the world? If we see it as a morass into which we have fallen and become entangled we will respond to it accordingly. If, however, we realize that the world is an instrument for our evolution, that it is itself an essential part of our liberation, we will think of it much differently than do most “spiritual” people, and we will approach and utilize it in that different perspective.

My beloved friend, Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, wrote a poem entitled “Only God I Saw” in which he described seeing the entire world and all within it as a manifestation of Divinity. If we can really “see” with the awakened eye of our spirit that the entire field of relative existence is Divine, in that very moment we will see “that which is hidden.” The seeing and the revealing are simultaneous. Nothing remains unseen to the awakened sight. Nothing. One translation says: “Recognize Him in front of your face….” This brings to mind the opening verse of the Isha Upanishad: “All this–whatever exists in this changing universe–should be covered by the Lord.”

To recap: We are not to turn from the world; if we do that we will never see truly. Rather, we are to open the inner eye, remove what Shankara called “the glaucoma of ignorance,” and find ourselves face to face with Spirit. Those who seek spirit by shunning the world, longing for “blessed death” and such, will fulfill the declaration of the Isha Upanishad’s ninth verse that those who reject relative existence enter into an even greater darkness than those who plunge into materiality, denying or ignoring the existence of the spirit. For, disengaging themselves from the world, they will never solve its riddle and be free.

Read the next section in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: What Jesus Wants Us To Do

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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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