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The Open Secrets

Chapter 1 of The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

The Gospel of Thomas for Awakeing cover
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These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.”

(This is the sentence before the Gospel of Thomas actually begins.)


Everyone loves secrets, especially children–and those whose brains but not their hearts have matured. Religion is riddled with “secrets,” “secret knowledge,” “secret practices,” “secret fraternities,” “secret books,” and suchlike, all creating an atmosphere reminiscent of old Flash Gordon serials and the Wizard of Oz. With many it is a passion to be of the elite and know the secrets the commoners know not; to seek and find what only the special few can access; to possess secret knowledge that gives secret power….

But Jesus, like Buddha, made it clear that he had no secret teachings, saying: “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:26, 27).

In my search for the real teachings of Christ, I came across a number of secret Christian esoteric associations, all with secret knowledge and secret practices. The interesting thing was that although those groups did possess power and methods that produced an effect, in the final analysis they were ineffectual, and in some cases actually ran counter to the result desired. And in no instance was there the slightest justification for anything they knew or did being kept secret. Jesus certainly knew best, and acted accordingly.

No secrets

“Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple…; and in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20).

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.…No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light” (Luke 11:16, 17, 33).

“Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:26).

The forgoing statements are surely sufficient to establish that Jesus had no secret teachings, whatever may be said at the present day. Why, then, this statement about “secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke?” Actually they were not secret, but unknown to those outside the circle of Jesus’ disciples. Then they were shunted aside by those who were intent on making Christianity in their own and the “Christian” emperor’s image. (It is my speculation that the great library of Alexandria was not burned to destroy “pagan” books abhorred by the official Christians, but to destroy early Christian books no longer compatible with their new state Christianity.) Those that still believed the original teachings of Jesus were forced to keep them secret to escape banishment from the empire, imprisonment, or even death. So the copyist prefaced the book with this sentence, obviously not from Saint Thomas.


One English translation out of many–Grondin’s–renders the expression “hidden words.” The Greek work kruptos (from which we get the words crypt and cryptic) means something that is concealed or hidden because it is inside–inward. The sayings of Jesus are still secret as far as the outer world is considered because their understanding is a matter of personal, private experience that by its nature remains hidden. And let us not forget another Greek word, mystikos, which also means inward and hidden. So we could validly say that these words of Jesus about to be given us are Mystical Sayings.

Read the next Chapter in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Seeking Is More Than Just Finding


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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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