His disciples said to him, When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come? He said to them, What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it. (51)
Tis not a new phenomenon. People often miss something very important and do not know it. So they keep waiting for it to happen when it is long past. This is especially true when they have expected something internal to be an external event or when something symbolic or psychological was thought to be a very overt and visible incident. For example, many spiritual teachers have said for over a century now that “Armageddon” is being fought at this very moment on the inner planes of the spirit and will never be a visible war. In religion especially there is a very real risk of thinking something is a symbol when it will be literal, and literal when it will be symbolic. And most of all we see the tragic effects of misunderstanding the nature of Christ and the Kingdom.
Therefore we must be careful to look back at what is behind and forward to what is in the future. And always to scrutinize the present lest we miss something great by looking for it in the wrong place or time.
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Seeing Yet Blind