[They saw] a Samaritan carrying a lamb on his way to Judea. He said to his disciples, That man is round about the lamb.
him, So that he may kill it and eat it.
He said to them, While it is alive, he will not eat it, but only when he has killed it and it has become a corpse.
They said to him, He cannot do so otherwise.
He said to them, You too, look for a place for yourself within repose, lest you become a corpse and be eaten. (60)
Intent on death
This verse has two vital messages. The first is indicated by Jesus’ words: “That man is round about the lamb.” The man was carrying the lamb in such a way that he was wrapped around it, encompassing it, making it the center of his attention. But his intention was to kill and eat it. In the same way, filled with ignorance and ruled by ego, whatever the ordinary human being sets his attention and desire upon becomes an extension of his inner state of spiritual death, and rather than giving him life actually compounds his “death” condition. Realizing this, Shelley wrote:
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,–behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it–he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
The unawakened who “seize life” really seize death.
Seek safety and life
“You too, look for a place for yourself within repose, lest you become a corpse and be eaten.” It is not what we mistake for life that we should seek, but rather we should seek for the rest, the repose, that can only be found when we are centered in spirit rather than the shadow we call “the world.” When we turn within and find the life and peace that is the core of our being, then we will be alive and never again be “dead” or “eaten.”
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Who Will Die; Who Will Live