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Seeing

Chapter 26 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, You see the mote in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the beam in your own eye. When you cast the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to cast the mote from your brother’s eye. (26)

We often want spiritual life presented to us in broad outline and generalities, but the very nature of spiritual life prevents that because spiritual life is all-encompassing and therefore includes all the details. It is very necessary to examine all the aspects of self-evolution–for that is what spiritual life really is.

Here Jesus is pointing out the inconsistent nature of a mind that is itself defective: the tiniest things are clearly seen and immense things are invisible. It is like the serial killer in Vienna who after his arrest was asked how it was he had killed a serving-maid in a great mansion whose owners were away traveling, yet had put a large supply of water and seed in a bird’s cage in the house. Immediately the murderer became very indignant and shouted: “What kind of a person do you think I am that I would let a little bird starve?” It is often seen that the same people who have scruples about the smallest things will be indifferent to glaring evils in their lives. Oftentimes an exaggerated morality will be a cover or compensation for utter moral depravity, but in this case it is a matter of seeing things through the wrong end of the telescope altogether.

Several nurses who worked in mental institutions told me that there are seriously mentally ill persons, especially paranoid schizophrenics, who are totally out of touch with their personal reality but who can see other people’s situations perfectly clearly and give insightful advice. Every one of the nurses admitted that on occasion they asked the mental patients to help them with personal problems, especially family difficulties, and their advice always cleared up the trouble. (The motion picture They Might Be Giants is all about this kind of situation.)

Usually the mote-beam exhortation of Jesus is taken to be nothing more than a rebuke of hypocrisy, but it is much more. For Jesus assures us that “then you will see clearly to cast the mote from your brother’s eye,” thus implying that we will gain the ability to see others’ defects clearly and assist them in correcting them. This is often the work of saints: they reveal the real nature of our problems and tell us what to do about it to correct ourselves.

So this verse is a call to self-honesty and the helping of others as well.

Read the next section in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: How Jesus Saw the World

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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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