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Guarding the Flame

Chapter 10 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes. (10)


In the East fire is not regarded as a mere source of heat, but of transformation. It is further believed that fire’s natural or proper abode is in the higher regions, and that it has the power to transfer material substances into those regions by reducing them to their subtle components. This concept is the basis of the Vedic fire sacrifices and is found in other religions where candles and lamps are offered before sacred depictions and in places of worship. A great number of Vedic hymns are addressed to Agni (fire) as the mouth of divinity, the gateway to supernal existence.


It is no surprise then that the ancient yogis spoke of spiritual practice as tapasya–the generation of heat (tapa). Especially through meditation we enkindle the fire of divine consciousness. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad speaks of it in this way: “As the form of fire when latent in its source is not seen and yet its seed is not destroyed, but may be seized again and again in its source by means of the drill [a pointed stick whirled to produce fire for the Vedic sacrifices], so it is in both cases. The Self has to be seized in the body…. By practicing the friction of meditation one may see the hidden God, as it were” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 1:13). “Practicing the friction of meditation, one should apply himself to the best of his strength” (Dhyanabindu Upanishad 22-23). “The accomplished adept completely burns up and reduces to ashes his ignorance of the atman” (Kaivalya Upanishad 11).

Meditation is thus the fire which transfers our consciousness unto the heights.

The mission of Jesus

In the context of what we have just been considering, we can see that Jesus did not come to teach a dogmatic philosophy or reveal himself as a new god to be worshipped. Rather he came to establish a way, a means, to realize God. He was a yogi come to teach yoga to questing souls. He was truly “guarding it until it blazes,” though in time much of the fire was lost. Yet it still shines in the world.

Guarding our own fire

We must enkindle and then guard our own fire until it blazes forth in divine illumination. Like Jesus we must say: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). And like Saint Paul: “We are labourers together with God” (I Corinthians 3:9).

For “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18).

Read the next section in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: What Will You 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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